Art Adventures: B&W Wonders at The Armory Show

Hogo Crosthwaite, Mexico "Fire Cart" 2012 Pierogi, Brooklyn

Hugo Crosthwaite, Mexico “Fire Cart” 2012 Pierogi, Brooklyn

Each year I allocate at least one entire day to immerse myself in the wonders at The Armory Show and VOLTA art fairs where historically I am looking for works for my clients – or myself – however, this year the experience was purely for pleasure.

I took photos of dozens of works that caught my eye for a variety of reasons. Reviewing the images I saw different ways to bring some order to the rich chaos; this post focuses on works that are Black & White both representation and abstract…

The Armory Show collaborated with the VOLTA art fair again last week to gather nearly 300 art galleries from around the world on three piers in New York City, showing an extraordinarily wide range of art from Modern to Contemporary.

Pierogi is always one of my favorite places to see fresh and contemporary works on paper; this year I saw the surreal drawings of Mexican born artist Hugo Crosthwaite for the first time, including the entry image in this post.

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John Coplans (1920-2003) "Self-Portrait (Back with Arms Above)" 1984 Galerie Nordenhake Stockholm & Berlin

John Coplans (1920-2003) “Self-Portrait (Back with Arms Above)” 1984 Galerie Nordenhake Stockholm & Berlin

Glaerie Norenhake from both Stockholm & Berlin showed the stunning large format black & white photos by, and of, a single artist – John Coplans. While Coplans passed away more than a decade ago his photographic work of his unclothed body (warts and all) remains relevant today.

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Gordon Matta-Clark (1943-1978) "Sliced Brick Building", 1977

Gordon Matta-Clark (1943-1978) “Sliced Brick Building”, 1977

Rhona Hoffman Gallery has been a source for material by one of my favorite artists –  Gordon Matta-Clark , in this case a pair of photographs with cuts for a never executed project f0r documenta 6 Kassel, Germany in 1977.

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Zanele Muholi, Durban "Bester I (Mayotte)", 2015 Yancey Richardson Gallery NYC

Zanele Muholi, Durban “Bester I (Mayotte)”, 2015 Yancey Richardson Gallery NYC

Thankfully the art world now offers a much broader multi-cultural view. The photographs of Zanele Muholi at Yancey Richardson were simultaneously gorgeous and confrontational at the same time. The artist Muholi prefers the term “visual activist”. Her work is primarily portraits; almost all of her subjects are members of South Africa’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex communities.

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KM92 016 Clairvoyance HR

The work of artist Kerry James Marshall comments on the history of black identity, both in the United States and in Western art. In Marshall’s painting “Clairvoyance” shown at the Armory booth of his long-time New York dealer Jack Shainman, I saw a Robert Ryman all-white painting into which the artist has inserted his own head in the center – I wonder what his intention was?

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Eva Hesse, American "Untitled", 1965 Senior & Shopmaker, New York

Eva Hesse, American “Untitled”, 1965

 Senior & Shopmaker offered a rare drawing by the now mythical and revered German-American sculptor Eva Hesse (1936-1970); the drawing offered is very similar to one owned by the TATE Museum in London.

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Philip Taffe, American "Untitled", 1984

Philip Taaffe, American “Untitled”, 1984

Zucker Art Books from New York city showed a very early Philip Taaffe painting that reminded me of  some of the mid-1950’s drawings and paintings by artist Myron Stout (1908-1987). Taaffe’s later work became MUCH larger and MUCH more exuberant, reflecting “his belief that painting should be a synthesis of visual forces.”

Myron Stout, Untitled (Number 3 - 1956)

Myron Stout, Untitled (Number 3 – 1956)

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Dieter Roth (1930-1998) "Untitled" 1972

Dieter Roth (1930-1998) “Untitled” 1972

Also at Zucker Art Books was a fantastic geometric work by the influential and prolific Dieter Roth, a Swiss artist best known for his artists’ books, editioned prints, sculptures and works made of found materials including rotting food stuff (no food material here!)

This India ink wash and pencil drawing is a ‘working drawing’ for a striped rhombus with 18 stripes decreasing in size. It was a ‘recreation’ of two elements used for book ‘4a’, 1961, and was used for a book entitled Dieter Roth – Collected Works Volume 4 published in 1972.

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Pius Fox , German "16-192" 2016

Pius Fox , German “16-192” 2016

The walls of the Pablo’s Birthday gallery’s booth at the VOLTA Art Fair were filled with the work of a contemporary German artist Pius Fox; while many of the works had color, I particularly like this the lean and elegant black & white drawing.

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Sol Lewitt (1928-2007) "The location of a trapezoid, square, and circle, April 26, 1976"

Sol Lewitt (1928-2007)
“The location of a trapezoid, square, and circle, April 26, 1976”

Rhona Hoffman Gallery had a fantastic work by another one of my favorite artists Sol Lewitt – an early ‘instruction’ drawing here recalls El Lissitzky’s Constructivist works from the early 20c. compositions, or the floor plan of Philip Johnson’s Glass House in New Canaan, CT.

Glass+House+plan

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Pablo Picasso (1881-1973) "Homme au paraplui assis" 1914

Pablo Picasso (1881-1973) “Homme au paraplui assis” 1914

Lastly, at Szoke Gallery there a number of works that I coveted especially this cubist sketch by Pablo Picasso  was perhaps the single work I would have liked to have taken home with me!

Alas, I went home empty handed, but my day of full immersion in art was remarkable and inspiring; I feel sated, at least for the moment!

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